[[Side Note: To Relearn Everything
When I first started on my road to recovery I was well, alone. Yes, I had my family, I had my roommates/friends, I had the internet board I belonged to, but I still felt, ALONE.
Why? Because I felt like I had messed myself up so much and didn’t know how to get any of it back. I had screwed up my mentality about eating and everything it involved that I simply didn’t know how to start over, or get rid of all the awful things I had learned.
So how did I start learning?
I had one revelation, and another goal to meet.
Step One: Revelation
By my Spring Semester, Junior year of college I was preparing to leave and be out on my own, IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY. I made the decision to go somewhere else other than Europe like all the other kids, and ended up choosing AUSTRALIA.
BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE.
I remember getting to the airport in Cairns, NEQ after 18 hours of flying from Los Angeles and gasping for air in the heavy humidity. But then I realized where I was: I was surrounded by green, by the tropics, by this enormous amount of living and breathing thing I had never been able to see before.
It was absolutely AMAZING.
I was in awww the entire 2+ hr drive we took to our site, out in the middle of no where rainforest. I seriously couldn’t believe where I was and about the adventure I was about to embark on!
I spent 4 solid months out here.
I not only learned about the environment, but I also learned about myself…and not only who I was, but what I was capable of doing.
I found creatures I’m sure not many will see in their life.
I walked across lands people haven’t crossed in tens of hundreds of years.
I met the greatest friends I could have ever asked for.
And that was only the beginning.
It was one of the most eye opening experiences in my life. It let me see all the things that I might want to do after college and pursue as my career.
Step Two: New Goal
I returned home to California for the summer and my last two semesters of college. I was absorbed in getting my Senior Project done and trying to figure out my future.
But I was aching, hoping, wishing to get back to Australia. I had participated in community events while I was there, planting baby trees along corridors to help build up areas where animals could cross…and loved it. But it just wasn’t enough for me.
So I embarked on MY FIRST RACE GOAL since developing my ED:
We worked with an organization called TREAT: Trees for the Evelyn and Atherton Tablelands doing repairs on the environment and I loved their outlook on restoration, preservation and conservation. And of course, the people who ran the sites/services were absolutely awesome and extremely devoted to their cause. And of course they were trying desperately to save one of my favorite endangered species: Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo.
How could you not love an animal like that. Doesn’t look like a kangaroo? Got that right. This pretty baby lives in the trees of only certain kinds of rainforest, particularly the ones I was there studying. I saw them a handful of times and heard them crashing through the forest when I would scare them, but they were the most fantastic mammals to date in my book!
So what did I do? I decided to run a race.
But in order to run that race, I had to learn, or in this case, relearn everything there was about fueling myself for the training I was about to embark on.
I signed up with the San Diego Track Club to take part in their Rock n’ Roll Marathon Training program that took 4+ months to accomplish. I thought I was crazy, everyone thought I was crazy, but I had an agenda behind the entire cause:
I was going to raise money for TREAT.
I figured, if I couldn’t get back there to help out with the cause, I would try my hardest by sending them things so it could be done without me there. I had no idea really how I was going to raise money, but I went ahead and did it, by deciding to RUN A MARATHON.
I went after every friend, family, faculty and fellow student on campus and raised as much money as I could, ending at $900 AU. It took me all four months plus some to get to the goal I was looking for, but even then I wanted to give them more.
And I trained. I trained so hard and so long…but there were setbacks along the way.
Like I said, I had to relearn how to feed myself to keep up with all the running/working out I was doing. Truthfully, it was extremely hard. I was a hard core calorie counter at the time so knowing all the numbers was very difficult to get by.
In the beginning I did a horrible job. I used all the running I was doing as a way to burn calories I had eaten during the day, not as an activity I loved and was doing with a purpose/goal. It was horrible. I saw results that my ED liked, but on the other side of it all things that I was hating. I did start eating more of my fear foods, but the guilt was so bad that it backfired most of the time I tried. It was a trial I had never embarked on and was scared.
Two and a half months into the training, all the doubt and calorie restricting aided in an injury that occurred in both my calves. The injury not only happened because of the restricting, but also overtraining and wearing the wrong kind of shoes. But don’t get me wrong, I knew that what I had done to my body was WRONG.
I spent the last 1/3 of my training time at a PT and doing water workouts using an aquajog belt. I was determined to run the race and not let down all of those who had donated towards my cause.
Unfortunately by the time the race cam around the longest distance I had run was 14 miles. It was not long enough to run the entire race, even though I had the mentality to finish it.
My coach suggested that since I had done some training, had paid for the club and the race itself so far before hand, that I still run the race. At first I was hesitant, feeling like a cheater running the 2nd half of the marathon and getting to cross the finish…but then I figured, what the heck? I paid for it, I was going to run it, even though it was short of the entire thing.
I don’t know what time I finished at, and really, I don’t care. I know I jumped in at mile 12 and ran just over 14 when I got to the finish line. I was a tired young lady, but I was more happy of what I had accomplished and for the reason I had done so.
My shirt actually has a sticker on it with TREAT’s Logo and I had made shirts that I wore at school all the time to raise money to help promote my cause.
This was my first experience with dealing with my ED and actually, it caught the eye of a moderator on the WEBMD board I used to post on. They ended up doing an article about my recovery and cause for the race…but I leave that discussion for another time!
All in all, this was an eye opening experience. I learned a lot of new things, relearned old things…and came out with a new view on life. Sadly it didn’t last as long as I had hoped it would and I had a relapse soon after…but it made getting through that experience much easier the second time around.
You live, and you learn. And then you live some more. ]]
It’s been a long day having gone to the doctors this morning and having the antibiotics wreck havoc on my body…so I’m going to call it a night. Hope your week is starting off better than mine! Love you all!